On a remote Island in the Philippines, high up in the mountains and away from society, lies a hidden Doomsday cult with over a 1,000 children, who many are believed have been forced into marriage.
The cult, known as Socorro Bayaniham services (SBSI) is run by leader Jey Rence B Quilario, who believes he is Jesus reincarnated and has been reported that he is referred to as 'The Messiah.' His followers call themselves "soldiers of God." The organisation has at least 3,500 members, including 1,580 children and in the recent weeks it is believed that at least eight children have managed to escape from the community.
The cult has the caught the attention of the Filipiano governent, with some condemning the organisation. Senator Risa Hontiveros, 57, chairman of the Senate committee on women and children, is one of members whose raised concerns. According to Hontivero, the organisation started to get off its feet following a series of earthquakes, which hit Surigao del Norte, in the Philippines as early as 2019. Quilario used this opportunity to lure people to join his group and be "saved" from the end of the world.
In a speech she declared that: "This is a harrowing story of rape, sexual violence, child abuse, forced marriage perpetrated on minors by a cult. This cult is armed and dangerous. We are talking about over a thousand young people in the hands of a deceitful, cruel, and abusive cult… real children are in danger, and time is of the essence. We cannot, we must not, look away," she added.
She also claimed that Quilario would demand 60 per cent of each members pension and have smuggled drugs to earn more money. Some members have managed to escape and have relayed their harrowing tales inside the cult. One was a 15-year-old girl, who used the pseudonym Chloe, who was allegedly locked up by Quilario in a room with her new husband and was forced to have sex with him. It is believed that Quilario "he has the right to rape her" as they were married. She was only 13 and he was 21.
A member of the Cebu for Human Rights NGOP, Anna Fionah L. Bojos visited the region and testified that the children are under forced labour, having to haul sand and rocks. This will apparently be used to build a swimming pool and basketball court. Ms Bojo also alleged that if the childrens work was not up to standard they would be physically assaulted and in some cases sent to "foxholes" for days in soliary confinement.
Ms Bojo says that: “Children were [also] required to do ‘masi-masi’ every day. These are physical exercises where they jog with a heavy sack filled with rocks, undergo obstacle challenges, firearm and bladed weapons handling, learn martial arts, swim, and crawl in the mud full of waste and urine." Ms Bojos in The Philippine Star newspaper: “Although the cult said it was voluntary labour on their part, they were actually monitored and disciplined for failure to do work."
Despite the story dominating the media in the Phiippines, Socorro Bayanihan continue to deny all accusations, instead claiming that the children have been influenced to "fabricate" their stories. But as the cult gains more attention former members have come forward to speak of the experience in the club. One is 28 yeard old "Karl," who used to be a member of the Agila Squad. This is apparently the armed wing of Socorro Bayanihan Services.